I’ve learned something in the past few days. At age 60, I am fairly ill-equipped to choreograph the day of small children. God knew what he was doing when he invented menopause (though it would have been nice if he had left out the hot flashes). Sixty-somethingers shouldn’t be in charge of small kids.
And choreograph is the correct word, I think. Parenting children is like a grand dance where everyone needs to be in their place and the music has to be just so and all parties involved must know the correct steps.
I spent one night and three days (so far) handling my 5-year-old and 3-year old granddaughters who just added a brother to the mix. Mom and Dad and brother are still in the hospital (hope to get out today). I’m pretty good during the day. I bring out the Play Do and they can entertain themselves for hours. At the end of it all, the floor is littered with little tiny bits of blue and green and yellow and red dough, but hey, it sweeps up.
It’s getting them ready for bed and then ready for school in the morning (at least one of them) where I struggle. The bedtime routine went fairly smoothly. PJs on, teeth brushed, go potty, night night (the night I watched them, they were too tired even for a single story).
But the morning was a different story altogether.
I had grand plans to make them a good breakfast including a healthy protein and orange juice, get them dressed in adorable clothes (perhaps matching), braid their hair in elaborate fashion, brush their teeth and gargle, and have Kaiya at school in time to have a few minutes on the playground.
Here’s what really happened. I managed to find pants and a shirt to fit each of them. They were almost color coordinated. Their teeth got brushed. I plopped a headband on Kaiya’s head and pulled Mylee’s hair into a couple of really sad looking pony tails. We ran into Safeway on the way to school and grabbed a couple of donuts and some chocolate milk, which they ate sitting on my lap on the ground just outside the door, because there was no eating area. We looked like sad homeless people. When I got off the ground, my yoga pants were covered in sugary glaze (and I’m sad to say I kept those pants on all day long, being too tired to put on any makeup or change into presentable clothes). I got Kaiya inside the school on time, only to have her look at me sadly and say, “Nana, where’s my backpack?”
“Never fear,” I said. “I left it in the car.”
I ordered the girls to stay put, and raced back to the car to retrieve the backpack. I was buzzed back into the school and handed Kaiya her backpack. She began walking down the hall, and Mylee and I started following her. She turned around and said, “Nana, you don’t have to walk me to my classroom. You can leave.” I’m pretty sure it was the sugar on the yoga pants.
Here’s the thing. I’m really not entirely inept. I was a single mother (at a much younger age of course) and I managed to get him through grade school, high school and college. It just was easier at that younger age. I had more energy. And I wasn’t so out of practice.
And as long as I’m ‘fessing up to incompetencies, I must tell you about yesterday morning’s debacle. I needed to get some groceries, and I decided I would walk to the nearest grocery store. It is almost exactly one mile.
It was a good plan except for one thing. I forgot how difficult it is for me to moderate myself at a grocery store. I picked up the things on my list. I got a few extra things. Quite a few extra things, really. I went through the self-check-out, and filled my cloth bag. When I lifted it up, I was stunned. In the words of that linguistic genius Scooby Doo, “Roh roh.”
I trudged back home carrying 14 pounds of groceries. I’m not some kind of a savant. I weighed the bag when I got home. It was very heavy.
But back to choreography. I think the kids will be glad to be with better dancers.
Like these…. (And, once again, notice Mo Mo made the family portrait.)
This post linked to the GRAND Social